I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about gas prices and something in the conversation reminded me to look and see what I posted during the gas price crisis of 2008.
One of those posts was on a group called NozzleRage, which debuted with the humorous Zucker brothers video featured therein. (I’ve also learned a little about HTML since then so I turned off the ‘autoplay’ feature that the post originally had.) Later, I found out that NozzleRage was a front of sorts for the Center for Security Policy, a group seeking to have the government mandate flexfuel vehicles – but the group fizzled out anyway as prices retreated from their high point.
(It’s also when I gained a valuable acquaintance and go-to person on energy policy, my friend Jane Van Ryan of API.)
I like to look forward on my site, but there is value in having a historical archive of over 2,400 posts as I do. It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of push there is for something along the line of the “drill here, drill now, pay less” campaign that got Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions group on the map.
And while local tourism didn’t bottom out as feared in 2008, it’s worth recalling that unemployment wasn’t as high as it is today and many people who still had assets like home equity loans and lines of credit to fall on no longer have that luxury. Sure, when you consider that even at $4 a gallon that a round trip from New York City to Ocean City would take up only $64 in gasoline (16 gallons at 30 miles per gallon) it may not seem like a lot compared to $2.50 per gallon – the real difference comes in the inflation caused by increased transportation costs, and people may not be as able to weather those shocks financially as they were three years ago.
Considering that much less is being said about the pain at the pump this time around, Americans may be learning to adjust. But they shouldn’t have to.